46 languages in Bangladesh!
Although Bangla is the official language of Bangladesh and is spoken by almost everyone in the country, there are approximately 46 languages within Bangladesh itself, of which 42 are indigenous or native languages. All these are still actively used today.
|Language||Spoken by (population)|
|Chin, Falam||Very few speakers|
|Khasi||Very few speakers|
|Indian Sign Language||7,596,511 deaf people in Bangladesh and 14 deaf institutions|
We need to make sure that our children develop a habit of reading from a very young age. Each classroom in schools, starting from the Kindergarten to the senior classes should have shelves filled with both old classics and contemporary books. I am not against the 'computer technology', but we also have to make sure that our children do not ignore books because of the computers.
If people in Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet and other districts are not exposed to the quality and quantity of books like those in Dhaka, then how can we expect these people to create a demand for books? A proper distribution is very much necessary. Not only in Kolkata, but there are thousands of Bangalis living in the United Kingdom, United States and all over Europe. If the respected High Commissioners in these countries can arrange a three-day or a five-day book fair and invite publishers from Bangladesh, we will be able to arrange our own travel expenses and display our books in these countries. The Bangalis living abroad are always craving for books from Bangladesh and this would be a wonderful way to promote our books to them.
In spite of everything, I am amazed at the fact that more and more children love to simply finger through pages of books when they come to our stall!
The other day I could not help taking a picture of a large group of children who were going through books in a nearby bookstall. It was wonderful to watch them practically devouring the books! After all, one can anticipate a bright and a corruption-free future for this country, if these children are given the right books to read at the right age.
Advocate Jahar Lal Saha, owner of Muktodhara Publishing
Bangladesh is the only country in the world whose people sacrificed their lives for the language.
Glossary of terms
- Martri basha
- Mother tongue (language)
- Bhasha Andolon
- Language Movement
- Jagbar din aaj
- It's time to get up (literally, wake up day)
- Bhasha shoinik / sainik
- Language activist
- Prabhat pheri
- Mourning procession
May Allah continue to progress our Bangla basha and our People. Ameen.